From the Father, I will send you the Spirit of truth. When this Helper has come from the Father, he will be my witness, and you, too, will be my witnesses, for you have been with me from the beginning.
I tell you all this to keep you from stumbling and falling away. They will put you out of the synagogue. Still more, the hour is coming, when anyone who kills you will claim to be serving God; they will do this, because they have not known the Father or me. I tell you all these things now so that, when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them.
I did not tell you about this in the beginning, because I was with you.
That God-become-man in the person of Jesus is a mystery, because we cannot fully understand how it is possible. Yet, the Church has always held that Jesus of Nazareth was totally God and totally man.
However, in the course of history some Christians have been seduced by the heresy of docetism (from the Greek dokei, it seems) and denied the humanity of Jesus, whereas other Christians were seduced by the heresy of arianism (from the 4th century priest Arius of Alexandria, who proposed it) and denied the divinity of Jesus.
The saint we are celebrating today, Athanasius, as bishop of Alexandria fought the heresy of his opponent Arius with great courage. Even the emperors were Arian, along with the majority of Catholic bishops. In fact, it was the laity who preserved the Church from becoming completely Arian! In his fight against this heresy and its powerful defenders, Athanasius was exiled five times during his 45 years as bishop of Alexandria. He wrote magnificently on the divinity of Christ, until his death in the year 373. This superb champion of the faith should inspire us to treasure our belief in the divinity of Jesus, the core of our Christian faith.
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